Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Can industry be left to improve population health?

Why not encourage healthy eating through incentives?

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 15 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3085
  1. Ian Lake, general practitioner1
  1. 1Regent Street Surgery, Stonehouse GL10 2AA, UK
  1. lakei{at}

Why go for taxation that is largely punitive when tax incentives are easier and more likely to be successful?1 More than three quarters of food sales go through five supermarket chains and loyalty cards are in common use. Data mining companies routinely extract shopping data to generate profit through incentives. Why not look at this in a different way?

Governments could draw up a list of healthy foods and provide tax breaks to supermarkets if they could show that they had sold a high enough percentage …

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